Not all that I know or don’t know about my neighbor is of the same value.  For example, here are several potential characteristics of my neighbor — being a murderer, being a child molester, being a philanthropist, being a Christian, being a lawyer, being a stamp collector, being a father of 3 children, being able to fix computers, being a member of the United States House of Representatives, doing three heart surgeries a week in a local hospital, being addicted to pornography, enjoying classical music, being a retired grandfather but self employed for “pin” money, eating tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches once a week, and driving 30 miles a day to and from work.  Of all these features of my neighbor, do they all have the same value?  No.  Do they all have a different value or are some of them of equal value?  That is harder to answer, isn’t it?  What is not hard to answer is that some of my neighbor’s characteristics are more important both to me and to my neighbor than other characteristics.

Concomitantly, the more I know about my neighbor, the more I can express my confidence when requesting assistance and, the more I can have reason to be skeptical about other kinds of involvement in my life.  The fact is, some things about my neighbor are of greater importance than other things, both to him and to me.  At the same time, some of my neighbor’s facets are simply irrelevant to me.  They don’t impact my life one way or another.

Is the very human reality I have just laid out also the case with God?  God doesn’t tell us everything about Himself.  He knows that we don’t need to know everything.  In fact, we couldn’t know it all anyway.  So, what we need to know about God are those things that have value / importance for our well being and our relationship with God.

Since the Bible teaches theology in the context of praxis, it appears that if a given theological truth doesn’t have a “practical” problem solving function, we may have no particular need to know it.  Or, is that going to an extreme concerning the value of theological information?

 

0020321